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The Student News Site of Wilsonville High School

Wilsonville Broadcast Network

The Student News Site of Wilsonville High School

Wilsonville Broadcast Network

OSAA holds first ever Title IX celebration

Kate Gore
Sophomore Fareeda ElManhawy and senior Maddie Holly pose with George Fox Women’s Golf coach Maryjo McCloskey’s book “When Girls Win”. This was the first ever celebration for Title IX and National Girls and Women in Sports Day hosted by the OSAA.

On Sunday, February 4th, the Oregon School Athletics Association (OSAA) hosted its first National Girls and Women in Sports Day Luncheon. Female athlete representatives from schools all around the state attended this informative event.

Upon arrival, a brief history of Title IX was shared in the form of a video. Title IX, passed in 1972, prohibits any educational program or activity that receives “federal financial assistance” to discriminate on the basis of gender. More athletics-centered provisions were added later, in 1975.

This law, created by Patsi T. Mink and signed into law by President Richard Nixon, paved the road for female athletes. Shortly after, there was a rapid increase in the number of women participating in sports.

These women helped increase the presence of women in athletics. With the passage of this federal law, female athletes secured the right to equal opportunities to succeed in sports.

The luncheon featured an awards celebration that highlighted stellar achievements by female athletes or those who helped raise awareness for female athletics. The Individual Sports Woman of the Year award was given to Addy Klundby of Powder Valley High School.

Klundby is a stellar track and field athlete who competed in the paralympic categories, where she won many events and made it to the esteemed Hayward Field, where the best of the best go to compete.

The Team Sports Woman of the Year was awarded to the George Fox Women’s Golf Team who were the 2023 NCAA DIII National Champions. George Fox coach Maryjo Mccloskey was the starter of the program and was their very first coach.

Mccloskey shared how she received so much negativity and doubt from others and had to learn how to drown that negativity out. Clearly, it worked, as her team has made 13 straight visits to the DIII National Championship.

Mccloskey organized her thoughts into a book titled “When Girls Win” which focuses on her journey, the ups and downs, the wins and losses, and the self-awareness she gains. She shares the mental toughness tools she uses in her life and believes all female athletes should use them.

The Billie Jean King Leadership Award was given to Cindy Simmons, a retired OSAA Assistant Executive Director. Billie Jean King, a legend in women’s sports and an equally fantastic tennis player, was also known for her constant advocacy for women in sports.

The Champion for Equity Award was given to a representative from the Oregon Wrestling Association, Girls Division. They helped jumpstart wrestling for girls in Oregon. Despite still being a newer addition, girls’ wrestling has had a major increase in participation, attendance, and viewership.

Lastly, the Wilma Rudolph Courage Award was gifted to Jenny Nguyen, the founder/owner of The Sports Bra in Portland. This is a restaurant solely dedicated to women’s sports. The walls are packed full of female athletes memorabilia and each TV is only showing women’s sports. Nguyen aimed to create a safe place for female athletes and inspire the younger generation.

The closing remarks were given by Vera Jones, a motivational speaker, author, sports broadcaster, radio host, and occasional stand-up comedian. Jones spoke highly about overcoming adversity, which she referred to as “Elephant Chains’ ‘ which are things, people, or mindsets that hold people back, and in order to move forward, the “chains ‘ need to be broken.

Jones shared an emotion-evoking story about her son which she deemed as one of the biggest chains she faced in her life. Her son had a tumor in his pituitary gland that affected him in many ways and made him blind. Jones mentions how, during this time, she had to abandon worry and doubt and “become best friends with faith,” which helped her during this tough time. She overcame this adversity with grace, faith, and fortitude. She ended with an emphasis on empathy.

The OSAA held an amazing event to celebrate the trailblazers for women in sports and for those who are currently paving the way for the future generation of female athletes. The representatives from each school were celebrated and given the chance to celebrate those who came before them.